Most helpful critical review
68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
It was an okay book but leaves a lot to be desired
on 14 February 2002
I was somewhat disappointed with this book for a number of reasons. However, so that I don't sound overly negative, let me first tell you what I liked about it.
1. The maps were excellently detailed and made navigating the game far easier than simply using the on screen map in the game. There was only one exception I cited below.
2. I would have paid the price of the book if the only thing they gave me was the packages map! It was excellent, and overall a great time saver. Beware though for package number 25 (on top of the drugstore). It is without a doubt the most difficult package to get to and the book doesn't describe how to do it (Email me if you want a little walkthrough for that one).
3. The "Secrets" section at the end was very detailed even though there were several factual errors about the Vigilante, Fire-truck and ambulance missions.
4. Some of the mission tips and walkthroughs were very good, particularly some of the Career missions".
Okay now for the negatives:
1. Although most of the maps were excellently detailed, the powerup maps were sometimes difficult to decipher because they used symbols that were so small that it made it somewhat hard to tell similar looking icons apart; for example differentiating armor from a Unique jump/Stunt bonus. perhaps had they increased the size of the map showing the powerup, or changed the color designations it would have been a tad less ambiguous.
2. Although, as I said, many of the level descriptions were very good, a lot of the so called strategy guides/Walkthroughs for some levels, as well as other missions were incredibly lame, and amounted to nothing more than reiterating the instructions that the game gives you when you come to that mission. This is particularly true on the off road missions where you have to get to a given number of checkpoints. These were, by the way, some of the more difficult missions in the game and about all that the book tells you is where to find the mission. Seriously, what were they thinking on this?
3. Where are the Cheat codes? I do not use them myself, but I would think that an Official Strategy guide would have a full arsenal of them!
4. There should be a separate list of all the gangs of the game, as well as where to find them. It would take up about a paragraph, as anyone after finishing the game could do it. This info would have been exremely useful.
5. There is absolutely no useful information about flying the Dodo plane.
Now for me, the book was worthwhile obtaining, no question, if for no other reason than the maps and packages locations. However, if you are on a budget or short on cash, and feel that you could use the big maps that come with the game, put the money towards another game instead and get your walkthroughs off of the Internet. There are some FANTASTIC sites that give you an unbelievable wealth of information in FAQ's/Walkthrough's and discussion forums where you can ask questions if you still don't get a particular level.
This is especially true of a Walkthrough by a guy nicknamed "Minesweeper". You can find his FAQ/Walkthrough and others as well as many GTA 3 forums on various sites like Neoseeker. The thing is that I was amazed at the detail that these folks gave out for free with downloadable FAQ's/Walkthrough's and general stuff.
BradyGames ought to take a lesson from them when writing their books, which they are making a tidy sum from! The information on the Internet is far superior to anything you will ever find in this "Official Strategy guide", and you don't pay a thing.
In short, it was fairly obvious to me that the people at BradyGames didn't play GTA 3 very much. Most likely they simply got all the pertinent specs from Rockstar (the game's publisher) and went through the game, playing it the obligatory time necessary to beat it once and do a few side missions.
The writers were wholly unfamiliar with far too many of the subtleties of the game for me to recommend the book anywhere near as enthusiastically as many of the other reviews I have read thus far...